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Who We Are

Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.  

While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.

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Quilted Wall Hangings

Since November 2004, MDS house dedications include the gift of a quilted wall hanging to the new homeowners. The wall hangings are made and donated through the Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Women's group. If you are a quilter and would like more information on this program, e-mail MDS at communications(at)mds.mennonite.net.

 


 

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Putting up the inside wall of a new cabin at the Hadashville, MB, youth project.

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Art and Willis working together in Crisfield, MD.

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MDS volunteer, Walter Augsberger, gives peacock feathers from his own farm to all of the community children at the house dedication celebration in Circle, AK.

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Roof repairs in Shawnee, OK.

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MDS volunteer Sarah cuts insulation for a new home in Crisfield, MD.

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MDS volunteers work on a new house in Crisfield, MD.

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Ms. Ruth tests out her new porch on her MDS-built home in Crisfield, MD. Her home was dedicated one year after Hurricane Sandy hit.

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MDS volunteer, Wayne Chupp, of Nappanee, IN, measures carefully on a new home in Crisfield, MD.

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Working on siding in Shawnee, OK.

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Emma and Agnes with our client, Helen, at her home in Hattiesburg, MS, where the MDS crew is working.

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Building Ms. Lisa's porch in Bastrop, TX.

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Mr. Bill receives a quilt at his home dedication in Shawnee, OK.

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Mr. Ken chats with Project Director Phil at the Shawnee, OK, project.

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Marie and Wayne painting the railing at Ms. Carolyn's house in Braithwaite, LA.

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Marlene gets the fan ready for installation at an MDS built home in Bastrop, TX.

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Randy works on Ms. Ann's house in Far Rockaway, NY.

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Building a bridge in Webster Springs, WV, to replace one that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Without this bridge, the family did not have access to the road when the stream was high.

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Volunteers Randy and Vern work together on Ms. Ann's house.

MDS closes Texas project.

Mennonite Disaster Service has ended its response in Bastrop County, Texas, after three fall and winter seasons of work in the Central Texas community. 

Over 1,000 volunteers took part in the effort between November 2011 and April 2014. During that time, over 80 different home sites were cleared of burned trees and debris from burned homes, and volunteers installed skirting, porches, and ramps for fire survivors who replaced their burned out homes with manufactured housing.

Working with the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team (BCLTRT), MDS built 21 new homes from the foundation up, plus assisted four other clients finish their rebuilds with roofing, foundation and drywall work. 

“It is amazing to see how the gifts of labor and love can produce such a benefit for both the clients and the entire county, as homes are restored, tax bases are firmed up, and families are able do business and go to school in the Bastrop community,” said MDS project director, Carl Dube. “There is a bible story of some servants who were given various talents and then told to use them. In Bastrop the MDS volunteers have put their talents to good use and reaped a high return.”

MDS partnered with several other volunteer groups and businesses while in Bastrop County, including Christian Aid Ministries, World Renew, Nomads, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Lutheran Social Services. The work of the BCLTRT to coordinate the work, funds and clients enabled all these groups to carry out meaningful recovery efforts in Bastrop County.

 

Click here to read entire article.

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MDS featured in new book

Brenda Phillips, PhD, Associate Dean at Ohio University in Chillicothe, has published a new book titled “Mennonite Disaster Service and the Gulf Coast Recovery“ A long-time friend of MDS, she is a widely published author on disaster recovery and socially vulnerable populations and has received numerous awards and recognition. Phillips is donating all of the royalties of book sales to MDS. To order a book at a download an order form here or call the Binational Office, (717) 735-3536. The book will be “library quality,” so consider donating a copy to your church library.

 

 

The book has been described as an “academic study and a story—a truly engaging one—of people helping people in a very special way. This is a close up view of those who experienced the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike and those from the Mennonite Disaster Service who came to help. Together they built a classic therapeutic community. This important book is a valuable resource not only for students and academics who will find rich empirical support for many theoretical concepts, but for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate giving and receiving in disaster recovery.”— Maureen Fordham, Northumbria University 

 

 

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MDS featured on NBC Nightly News! MDS was featured on the NBC Nightly News on March 29, 2011. To see the story that features our Diamond, La. project, click on the link below:                                                                      

 

MDS on the News

 

 

 

 

Volunteer

MDS volunteers are known for repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by disasters. But it takes more than construction skills to serve with MDS. During the time that you serve as a volunteer, you will learn that MDS also restores lives.

Donate

Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.

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MDS Locations

Mennonite Disaster Service project locations are the physical response centers established by MDS in a disaster-affected community. In addition to housing the local MDS office, the projects function as base camps for MDS volunteers who need a place to eat and sleep while they serve. This section of the MDS website contains updated information about current MDS projects.

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More Project Information

  • Current Projects
  • MDS Offices
  • Completed projects